Tourists 'using Uluru as a toilet'

An undated supplied photo of Australia's most recognisable natural icon, (AAP IMAGE/AAT KINGS) Source: AAT KINGS

It's a sacred site and one of Australia's natural wonders, but that apparently isn't stopping tourists from defecating on the top of Uluru.

It's a sacred site and one of Australia's natural wonders, but that apparently isn't stopping tourists from defecating on the top of Uluru.

Andrew Simpson, general manager of the Anangu Waai tour company, says the problem has been going on for many years.

"When people climb up the top of the rock there's no toilet facilities up there. They get out of sight ... (and) most of them have a toilet roll tucked away.

"They're shitting on a sacred site."

His claims come as the federal government considers whether to ban people climbing the 348-metre-high rock, which is sacred to local Aborigines.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park called for an end to people making the arduous trek up the monolith earlier this year, citing cultural, environmental and safety concerns.

It sparked immediate debate over the future of the climb, which is seen by many as a drawcard for the 350,000 tourists who visit the rock each year.

Waterholes 'polluted'

Submissions on the plan closed last Friday, with federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to consider more than 150 of them before making a decision next year.

"It's now time for me to have a good, careful look, at all those submissions that have come forward," he said on Monday. "I'll make my decision in due course."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has come out against a ban, saying it would be "very sad" if tourists were denied the chance to scale the rock.

Those who do already bypass a sign from the local indigenous community which politely requests them not to climb the sacred rock.

Mr Simpson said not only was the climb dangerous but it created a number of environmental issues.

"(There's) the rubbish and people defecating on top of the rock and polluting the waterholes," he said.

"That in itself is (a) big enough reason to consider closing the climb".

Source AAP, SBS

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